Sunday, July 10, 2011

Should Employers Use Social Networking When Hiring?

The Debate

On the pro side, Greg Fish argued that social networking profiles aren't resumes and companies should not use them when determining if an applicant should be hired. "A public profile is a vehicle for casually interacting with others in an informal setting, on personal free time," he wrote. "When companies use these profiles to find not only a professional but also an ideological match for a job, they’re misleading themselves and building ill will with talented prospective employees, who might decline to apply for a job for fear a comment about China on their blogs makes them persona non grata."

Fish's arguement hinged on the premise that by utilizing social networking profiles in the hiring process, employees were opening themselves up to potential discrimination lawsuits, and worse may be doing so on the premise of false information.

On the con side, Timothy Lee said that there were plenty of legitimate reasons for employers to look at social networking profiles of prospective hires. "Employees in sales, public relations, and customer service function as representatives for the companies they work for, so employers have a legitimate interest in ensuring potential workers won’t embarrass the company," he wrote.
According to Lee, people shouldn't fear that an employer will get a hold of their social networking profile, but instead they should expect it and use it to their advantage. By using your social networking profile and other bits of your online persona as an "extended resume," workers can "demonstrate passion and depth of knowledge for his or her area of expertise."

(Read Full Article here)


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